PROJECT ABSTRACT SUMMARYThe Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska is proposing to complete several steps to expand their capacity to address, prepare for, and mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on our Tribal community and support the broader response on our island. Through the evaluation of this funding opportunity, it became clearer that many pieces were needed to strengthen the Tribe?s self-sufficiency, ability to respond, and capability to collaborate with other community stakeholders.We are proposing projects to support the following strategic areas:?Emergency Operations and Coordination?Lab Capacity?Communications?Countermeasures and Mitigation?RecoveryUnder Emergency Operations and Coordination, we have identified several strategic plans for updating or preparation to address preparedness to hazards (including COVID-19). These include our Hazards Response Plan and a Continuity of Operations Plan for our essential Tribal workforce. In addition, we have identified that increased planning and staff training in incident management is badly needed. This effort will develop an incident management system approach that will coordinate with local agencies and provide our staff with the training to support this capacity and basic training in first aid/CPR/AED. Finally, items have been identified to support our emergency response effort: a cargo van to move staff and supplies, a incident response vehicle, and a lockable caged area to protect valuable PPE and response supplies from potential theft.To expand lab capacity, we have requested funding to support increased testing in our community. We have already acquired a Cepheid GeneXpert Rapid Testing System, but appropriate supplies are needed to support testing in the community, especially since workers flood our island from all over the world to support the U.S. fishing industry. We also propose to set up dedicated drive-thru testing facilities.We identified several areas in need of updating and deployment to
ensure the Tribe is a capable partner in emergency response. Our communication infrastructure is not modern and not appropriate for the size of our organization. We have proposed updating our 2-line phone and fax system to have the capability to handle multiple calls, teleconferencing, and intraoffice communication to maintain our ability to work and coordinate with local first responders and our community. We have also identified that a text messaging alert system would be useful to coordinate with our staff and Tribal community during times of emergencies. In addition to the threats of COVID-19, we are in an area with volcanic, earthquake, and tsunami hazards. We have also requested funding to support a two-way radio system to support staff communication that does not rely on spotting cellular coverage in our area. Under this program, we have identified staffing increases that would improve our responsiveness to the COVID-19 emergency. This includes a recall of out-of-area staff to support needs in Unalaska and additional staff to support communications and deployment of infection control countermeasures, the hiring of a safety and emergency response manager, and staff to support the direct mitigation of infection. As part of our recovery plan, we will develop a restoration plan to layout a path to achieve pre-event tribal functions for our community.